Minister opposes reconfiguration plans
A government minister has criticised East Sussex Healthcare Trust’s service restructuring plans..
The trust’s recently published proposals for consultation, Shaping our Future, sets out plans to reduce duplication of services between the Conquest Hospital in Hastings and Eastbourne District General Hospital.
Transport minister Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat MP for Seaford and Polegate, said he backs the “Save Eastbourne DGH” campaign, which opposes the plans on the grounds the hospital will lose services.
In a statement on his website, Mr Baker said the centralisation of a number of important services, such as stroke and trauma care, in Hastings would significantly affect his constituents.
He said: “While I understand that no decision has been made publicly yet on where the changes will be made the current plan does not bode well for retaining these important services at the EDGH.
“I appreciate that the trust is under some financial and clinical pressures, but we simply cannot have a two-tier health system where those who live in Hastings and Brighton get a good service and those who rely on Eastbourne [are] getting the short end of the stick.”
Foreign secretary William Hague has also spoken out repeatedly against South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust’s plans to reconfigure services provided to his constituency in North Yorkshire. Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has opposed service change proposals in east London.